Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 11, 1998

By Michael Kiral / L’Observateur / February 11, 1998

RESERVE – The East St. John Wildcats qualified three wrestlers for thestate tournament at the Region IV tournament held at Jesuit High School this past weekend.

The Wildcats tied for 12th in the meet with Andrew Jackson with 45.5points. Jesuit, trying to win an 11th-straight championship, placed firstwith 293.5 points and qualified 14 wrestlers for state. Brother Martinwas second with 264 points and 14 wrestlers, followed by Grace King (223, 12), John Ehret (138.5, 8) and Northshore (138, 8).For the Wildcats, Nick Peppo won the regional championship in the 125- pound weight class with a 13-7 decision over Jesuit’s Travis Guilbault, the top seed in the class. It marked the fourth-straight year that Peppo, asenior, has qualified for the state tournament.

Peppo defeated Archbishop Rummel’s Scott Welty, 5-3, in the semifinals to advance to the finals. It was the sixth time this season that Peppo haddefeated his biggest rival. That allowed him to avenge a one-pointovertime loss to Guilbault last year.

“That felt very good,” Peppo said of his defeat of Guilbault. “My four mostimportant matches of my life are this weekend. I want to finish off mycareer in style with a state championship.”Corey Sewell, also a senior, qualified for state for the third consecutive year in the 275-pound weight class and will be the fourth seed. Sewelldefeated one of the top wrestlers from Jesuit to get into the consolation finals.

“Hopefully, I can go to the finals,” Sewell said of his outlook for the state tournament. But if not, I am going to go out there and do my best. I feel Iam really peaking.”Jeremy Berthelot, another senior, qualified in the 140-pound weight class.

He will be making his first trip to the state tournament. Berthelot pinnedDaniel Lucas of John Ehret for the seventh and final seed. The top sevenseeds in each weight class qualify for state.

Peppo, Sewell and Berthelot will be trying to become the first state champions from East St. John since 1985, when the Wildcats placedsecond in the state in Division I.

The state tournament will be held at the University of New Orleans Friday and Saturday. The first round will begin at 9 a.m. on Friday, followed bythe quarterfinals at 6 p.m. On Saturday, the semifinals will start at 9 a.m.The finals will be held starting at 7 p.m.

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